This third annual survey of projects and centers describes these projects’ efforts and impacts and through them provides insights to the parent National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. When combined with other information and criteria, these annual descriptive findings and indices provide a basis for judging the overall impact and effectiveness of the ATE program. Findings from this survey are expected to be useful to NSF staff in preparing their annual GPRA reports and making programmatic decisions. ATE projects are likely to use survey results to learn about the activities and findings of other projects and to serve their own improvement needs.
Sustainability is the ability to prolong or to supply with sustenance. This straightforward
definition takes on a much more complex character when considered in relation to the
Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program because of the diverse nature of this
program (i.e., operates under several drivers [e.g., collaboration, program improvement]
and makes awards to projects and centers). Setting these complexities aside, in a simple
sense, sustainability for the ATE program could mean continuation of whatever activities
had been supported by the NSF grant, including institutionalization. This is consistent
with the definition given for sustainability by the Community College Research Center
(CCRC) in their study of the ATE program as well. They defined sustainability as “The
state where the major activities involved in the ATE program continue even after the
grant expires.” Naturally, outcomes or processes that are not successful or of high quality
should not be sustained. This places a burden on the ATE projects (i.e., projects and
centers) and NSF to determine where efforts for sustainability should be focused.